With ASL4 just around the corner, here's another Power Ranking to help satisfy your cravings! Without further ado, please go ahead and read our own rankings, post your own in the comments below, and feel free to discuss to your heart's desire!
Last season we still ended up trying to make a point. We really don’t need to this time...don't even try to argue this one.
Last is still the “other Terran” to Flash, and while he’s still up there in skill and results, when it comes to his matchups, it's a far cry from his Afreeca dominance in 2016. His TvT especially hasn’t been on par recently, which is pretty ironic considering TvT was the matchup that put Last on the map.
Bisu has been laddering hard since the launch of Remastered and maintaining a top 3 spot in the global ranking. His biggest weakness in his ASL runs is that he doesn’t seem to have the answers to players who have prepared specifically against his playstyle. He can be weak against the mind games of his opponents, leading to very uncharacteristic losses for him. Very few players can actually do that to him though, and Bisu never makes the same mistake twice.
Placing 3rd/4th in the previous ASL with one of the hardest paths and then taking FlaSh to five games is an absolutely incredible feat. On top of that, he finished third in the SSL Classic, bolstering his resume even more. Soulkey’s been feeling very confident lately with his play, and this ASL might be his chance to shine.
Despite a consistent pattern of getting eliminated before bracket play in the ASL, EffOrt did win the SSL Classic after pretty much killing the round robin and then easily taking the finals against free. So congratulations to EffOrt for finally stepping up and justifying a high ranking, but he still has to prove he has what it takes in the ASL.
Now, I know what you might all be thinking: "Omg, why is Larva so high with literally no good finishes on his resume?" Okay, hear us out. Larva has been improving so incredibly well that it’s difficult to put him lower than 10th in this ranking. He also finished second at the Thrill Starleague Season 3. He’s beaten FlaSh in Bo3s on stream, and he’s been rapidly improving all aspects of his game. As long as he doesn’t choke in an offline setting, he definitely deserves his spot at #6.
Most of you probably haven’t been following Mind so closely and might question his high placement at #7. A brief history of Mind: he’s won two tournaments in the past four months, and he’s been on a similar trajectory as Larva. His games have been clean and his playstyle reinvigorated. He's looking really strong in every matchup.
There are generally two parties when it comes to overall thoughts on Jaedong. The first screams that he’s still the Dong and the Tyrant. The other screams that he’s a washed up scrub that can’t play anymore. And truth be told, he has gotten far worse than his KeSPA days, which is what makes ranking him so difficult. It was his ZvT against Flash and Last that did him in during ASL2 and ASL3 respectively, but Jaedong has always dialed it up to 11 when his tournament chances were on the line, and with the maps for ASL4 being quite appealing for Zergs, maybe this time he'll swing it in his favor.
BeSt’s PvT is still a nightmare for Terrans, and his other matchups have improved. His PvZ is no longer complete dumpster tier—though his corsair control still is—and his PvP has also been a solid rock in his arsenal. BeSt is always the kind of player you expect to make top 8, and there’s no exception with this tournament, regardless of the strength of the field.
Shine’s status in the Power Ranking has been hot topic among the staff. It's undeniable that his run last season was nothing short of miraculous, but much like Shuttle after his ASL1 victory, we just don’t see it happening again. Shine probably deserves to be lower, since we really haven’t seen much or heard from him since. But give respect where it’s due: Shine always surprises us.
Light is one of those solid players who has steadily improved his game after coming back to Brood War. His TvP still leaves a lot to be desired, but his TvZ is still monstrous (and there are plenty of games to catch on this, especially against Jaedong, Soulkey and EffOrt). But we’ve felt his play has improved enough to where he deserves #11, especially when he managed to place third in the HoSic BJ S2 in a pretty stacked field. Lucky for him, there’s not too many Protosses in the ASL this time around.
Rain has shown that he’s here to play and not just a wannabe SC2 transition player. He’s played some fantastic games so far, and his PvT hasn’t missed a beat. Winning the HoSic BJ S2 over Last early in 2017 is a pretty noteworthy sign of things to come, but his previous disappointing finish in the ASL3 does have us yearning for more. We believe Rain is still on the right path and can potentially deliver a deep run in the ASL...well, maybe if he stopped spending time doing other less moral things on stream....
Snow’s fantastic reaver/carrier build in PvT, especially combined with pretty good carrier maps like Crossing Field and Gold Rush, are great signs for the Winter Soldier. While his PvZ still has much to be desired, the rest of his game is still very solid, and his rapid improvement gives him a spot at #13.
Now before you get upset for why a mediocre Terran is ranked this high over people like Stork and hero, hear us out. Look at sSak’s path in the ASL3 for a moment. He went undefeated in groups against hero, Rain, Jaedong, and Last and then took Bisu to five games. He’s a solid player, and we fully expect him to make it to groups with a real shot at getting to the bracket. Getting deep in the bracket is the real challenge for him now.
hero’s slump continues, and honestly we don’t see an end to it any time soon. His ZvP has started to slip along with the rest of his matchups, and he went from being contender to make deep runs in tournaments to a guy who can barely scrape by into the Ro16. Until he figures out something in his place, he’ll remain further down in the PR.
Mong had a surprisingly good run in the last ASL where he made it into the Ro8 by beating Soulkey, Shuttle, BeSt, and GuemChi—by no means a small feat. However, in any other tournament, he’s failed to deliver, and while the majority of those players listed have improved their games, we feel Mong simply hasn’t been able to improve his. He’s still good enough to make the Ro16 with an easier group, but in a more challenging group, expect an earlier exit.
Stork has said himself that he’s kind of taking competitive StarCraft less seriously, and it shows. It’s difficult to put Stork any higher than 15 based on his current performance. Most of us want him to succeed, but it seems like he’s much more happy just streaming and having fun with the game these days—and who can really blame him with streaming culture getting bigger and bigger? Sadly, it’s going to impact his play, and he’ll need the luck of the draw to get into Ro16 or deeper.
Mini has always been a thorn in the side of solid players but struggles against the more mediocre ones. If he’s not able to mirror his play against the best to the regulars, then he’s probably not making it out of the Ro24.
Ha Neul, to those who do not know, was a rookie in Hwaseung OZ back in the KeSPA, frequent practice partner to Jaedong and Killer, and followed up pretty early in the post-KeSPA era as one of its early best players. Now he's looking to reclaim that former glory, but he's up against some tough competition.
Flash is immune to mortal curses like the champion’s curse, but Shuttle is not. He was swiftly relegated to the back of the pack following his stunning ASL1 win and has failed to show any results since. After a timely exit last season, one can only hope to see the Eyewater rise again.
Despite circumstances leading Killer into the current season, we need to remind ourselves that Killer was one of the best Zergs in the scene prior to his enlistment. Unfortunately, while he has shown a fair amount of his skills on his stream, it's still not up to par of what it used to be. Given that he hasn’t been back long, expect a lot of “booth rust” from him.
HiyA is all but gone from active streaming, opting to go and work a regular job. It's quite a surprise that despite his competition, he still managed to make it into the tournament. In any case, we don't expect him to make it far, and it's unlikely his tournament run will go as deep as his qualifier run.
Sharp all but disappeared from public light since his quick exit from his ASL2. Since then, he failed to even make it into last season and hasn't really accomplished anything else in the meantime. Maybe a resurgence is in order for him? We're not quite sure, but he definitely rounds out the bottom of the pack right now.
Rush was once a player of great promise with excellent understanding and execution in all three matchups but a few severe weaknesses. He lacked experience playing against better opponents, and his playstyle is so by the book that it makes him predictable and easy to counter. Decent mechanics and understanding will only take you so far.
Another mediocre Terran who hasn’t really made a splash. He’s failed to do much in the ASL, and that trend is unlikely to change anytime soon.
Firebathero made it in on his third try in Busan, but when it comes to the actual tournament, it's unlikely we’re going to see the brilliance of this Ajae. It's still amazing that he qualified though. We can say this about FBH: we really hope he gets out of groups so we can see some of his ceremonies and some funny stuff at the group stage ceremony. Otherwise, he’s just not that good anymore.
Lazy is a talented player with some decent chops, but against championship quality players, we don't expect him to go far. What few tournament games we've seen from him aren't particular inspiring either.
Also known as MisO, Where is a rookie from ASL2, but he’s started to become a more familiar face around these parts. Still, rookies are rookies. MisO probably won't make a splash in this tournament.
Writers: BLinD-RawR, FlashFTW
Editors: BigFan, EsportsJohn
Photo Credits: DailyEsports